Iqbal Mirchi deals: ED arrests dummy tenant


Mumbai, Oct 22 (IANS): Tightening its noose around Pakistan-based underworld don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar's close aide late Iqbal Mirchi's property deals, the Enforcement Directorate arrested one Rinku Deshpande for receiving cheques related to deals in favour of fake dummy tenants.

This is the second arrest made by the ED on Tuesday and fourth so far.

"We have arrested Deshpande under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002," a senior ED official told IANS.

He said she was arrested on the basis of statements of Bindra, who was arrested by the financial probe agency on October 11.

The official said during the statement recorded under custody, "Bindra acknowledged the delivery of cheques related to the deals issued in favour of fake dummy tenants to Deshpande".

He said Bindra also admitted to the meetings and further negotiations with Mirchi in London in respect of the said three properties as a broker and on behalf of Sunblink Real Estate Private Limited.

The official said that Bindra told the ED that the family of Deshpande was in touch with Mirchi and his family members. He further claimed that Deshpande represented the tenants of three properties of Mirchi in Mumbai's Worli area and helped Bindra to get a brokerage of Rs 30 crore.

The three properties are Sea View, Marium Lodge and Rabia Mansion - spread over 1,573 square metres.

Earlier in the day, the agency arrested Humayun Merchant, a close aide of Mirchi, who controlled his properties in India. The official said Merchant was arrested after several property deals, including those related to Praful Patel, former Union minister and NCP leader, on behalf of Mirchi and his family members were found routed through him. The agency also found that the power of attorney of several Mirchi's family was in his names.

On Friday, the ED had questioned Patel for over 12 hours about who the promoters of Millennium Developers were, whether he had ever meet Merchant and if he had travelled to London during 2006-07.

The ED action is based on documents, unearthed during the probe, which show that Millennium Developers, promoted by Patel and his wife Varsha, developed the 15-storeyed Ceejay House in Mumbai and then gave two floors of the building to Mirchi's family members in 2006-07.

The ED has unearthed deals worth Rs 225 crore related to three buildings - Sea View, Marium Lodge and Rabia Mansion - spread over 1,573 square metres in Worli area of Mumbai.

Earlier the agency arrested Bindra and Haroun Yusuf, former chairman of a dubious trust both close aides of Mirchi, from Mumbai. According to the ED, while Bindra acted as a broker for the land deals, Yusuf facilitated them by transferring the money to a Trust.

Yusuf became a British national in 2004 and played a crucial role in carrying out illegal deals between Mirchi and real estate developers, which were fixed by Bindra for brokerage of around Rs 30 crore.

  

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